In one of the more frustratingly disappointing matches of the year, the Colorado Rapids came out flat and uninterested in playing against Sporting Kansas City and paid the price: a 2-1 defeat on the road. Instead of being able to climb the Western Conference table, the Rapids are doing their best to become completely reliant on results that they have no control over.
Here is The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - Colorado Rapids, Week 27.
Edson Buddle: I have never been the biggest fan of Buddle as he never embraced his trade to the Rapids. But over the last two weeks he has stepped up his game and is starting to become the player the Rapids thought he might be. Granted he has played in limited spurts against Sporting Kansas City (1 goal) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1 goal), but he has taken shots that have found their way to the back of the net. You have to think with Gabriel Torres gone on International Duty, that Buddle will get the start up front this weekend at the Stubhub Center.
The Formation: I was not impressed with the decision to deploy Torres as a lone striker in the 4-2-3-1. He seemed lost at times and with the disaster that was the Rapids inability to control the midfield, Torres had time finding his rhythm throughout the night. I would be curious to see if the Rapids worked some sort of a 4-4-2 (or a variant thereof) and put Torres up front with Sanchez (or Deshorn Brown).
Numbers do not lie: This has to be looked at as a massive missed opportunity. For all of the possession that Sporting Kansas City had, they had but three shots. One was a rocket from outside the box and the second was one where Dillon Powers completely lost his man. The Rapids, for as terrible as they played, still should have come out of Sporting Park with a point. With their other Western Conference rivals picking up points, the Rapids have to be disappointed. Every point matters, and there are only seven more opportunities for more.
With seven games left, the Rapids set 4th in the West, but perilously close to falling out of the race. Of the seven games left, three are at home and four on the road. It goes without saying that the three home games are must wins, but they need to sneak a result or two on the road. They play Los Angeles Galaxy on the road this weekend, and the Galaxy will be missing four of their major stars. The Rapids must take care of business and get three points.